Warning: Death. Consider this… the Macbeth of fanfiction. I guess. Though not everyone dies… hmm. That could always be arranged –shifty eyes-
They were Team Seven.
Even though they were older, wiser, stronger, and no longer genin, they were still Team Seven.
Still Uzumaki Naruto, Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura.
Still a three-man team.
And they were together once again – after Sasuke betrayed Konoha, after Sasuke left a hole in Naruto's chest with his Chidori at the Valley of the End, even after Naruto, Sakura, Sai and Yamato tried to get Sasuke back, even after Sasuke killed Orochimaru and banded with Team Hebi to kill his older brother, even after the destruction of Uchiha Itachi and Akatsuki, after all of that… they were reunited, though in a way they didn't expect, but weren't surprised to find themselves in such a situation.
Team Seven was reunited for the last time.
They weren't the Legendary Three Sanin, but they were still legends in their own way.
Orochimaru was Sasuke's mentor.
Jiraiya was Naruto's.
Tsunade was Sakura's.
All three pupils were like their mentors in one way or another.
People had hopes that maybe, unlike the Three Sanins whose story ended in a tragedy, that maybe Team Seven's story would be different.
…but not likely.
Maybe things could have been different. But nothing could change then and now as Naruto and Sakura, both accepting of the fact there was no way to bring Sasuke back to Konoha, tried instead to fight Sasuke who was rather adamant in killing both of his (former) teammates.
There was no room for Sasuke in Konoha. No room for an avenger. No room for a traitor. Maybe in some idealistic world, Konoha would have opened their arms to the remaining Uchiha. But no. There was no salvaging what Sasuke had done. He had betrayed Konoha. He had betrayed Naruto and Sakura. There was no room for forgiveness in Konoha. Not for him.
Sasuke knew Naruto and Sakura were much, much stronger. He always knew they were, it was just much different now that they fought with the same killer-intent that he fought with. Sakura was no longer the love-struck fool that pined after Sasuke. Naruto was no longer an idiot who held on to the ideals that maybe he could 'save' Sasuke. He didn't need any saving. He was far too gone to be saved; far too gone down the road of sins.
All three knew this was going to be their last fight.
The final reunion of Team Seven.
They weren't sure how it was necessarily going to end, but either way, they had accepted what ever would come later on; whatever impending doom awaited them.
Haruno Sakura was a kunoichi; a woman who loved both of her teammates very, very much. It didn't matter that she was trying to kill one of her teammates. She still loved him, but she also loved Naruto. She would always love her boys. With all of her heart. That would never change. She fought for both of them – for Naruto to keep him alive, and for Sasuke because… because the only way Sasuke could be saved was through death. She knew this. Naruto knew this. Sasuke thought he couldn't be saved.
She knew Naruto was the only one who could save their lost teammate.
That was why, when it was apparent that Naruto wouldn't be able to dodge the oncoming Chidori heading straight to his heart, Sakura stepped in between and took the blow for the Kyuubi vessel. She could see the shock in Sasuke's onyx eyes, could hear the pained, surprised cry from Naruto. She could feel the pain that tore at her chest, and feel her blood as it splattered on her teammates; her teammates who were both so close to her that she could smell and feel them…
And there was silence as Sasuke stood there with his hand in her chest and Naruto frozen stiff behind her. So Sakura took the initiative of putting her hands on Sasuke's arm and pulling it away. More blood spilled and a dazed smile tugged at her lips as she swayed back into Naruto's arms as he finally seemed to regain function of his body. He lowered her to the ground, rocking her and sobbing and asking her to stay and she told him she loved him and she told Sasuke she loved him too…
She thanked them for helping her to grow up.
She thanked them for making her stronger.
And she cried and smiled through her tears and Naruto held on to her tighter and Sasuke… Sasuke watched as she faded away.
As the life left her emerald eyes.
As her lids closed and her body finally went limp.
There was a pregnant pause before Naruto finally laid her gently on the ground and kissed her forehead. He stood up,
face dirtied and streaked with tears and looked at Sasuke with a look of determination. He stared back.
And they continued to fight – Sasuke with his sword, Naruto with his claws. Both with red eyes.
Uzumaki Naruto loved Haruno Sakura with all his heart and soul. He had been infatuated with her as a genin, but he never truly loved her until he saw her after being gone for two years; until he saw how much she grew and changed into a powerful medic-nin and how she saved Kankurou's life after being poisoned by Sasori, and how she obliterated the large boulder that blocked them from saving Gaara from Deidara and Sasori.
He loved Uchiha Sasuke too, in a more-than-brotherly-way. He always loved Sasuke. He almost died for Sasuke on more than one occasion. He would do anything to save the remaining Uchiha. He more than willingly followed him into the pits of Hell when he went to destroy Itachi, and Sakura did the same. Naruto and Sakura loved Sasuke unconditionally. Always loved Sasuke. Always loved each other. Always, always, always…
He knew he'd love Sasuke no matter what. It was all he could think about when he was met by Sasuke's blood-red eyes; when he felt his sword pierce and rip through his flesh and splatter his blood on the Earth. Naruto was too tired and too weak. The Kyuubi was drained, far too drained to heal him. Naruto fell on to Sasuke and laughed a hoarse, dry, exhausted, weary laugh.
He said, bastard.
And Naruto died.
And Sasuke picked Naruto up and laid him next to Sakura.
And Sasuke stood there, weary and exhausted just as Naruto had been before he died.
And he stared at his fallen teammates.
And pain suddenly shot up from his side where Naruto had managed to ram his Rasengan into.
He fell to his knees. His vision was blurry. He stared at Naruto and Sakura and felt extremely tired all of a sudden; the kind of tired where all you want to do is close your eyes and sleep for all eternity…
Sasuke laid himself down on Naruto's other side and did just that.
Uchiha Sasuke felt something for his teammates.
He wasn't sure what it was, but whatever it was, it was strong enough to make him follow his teammates to death.
When Hatake Kakashi found the bodies of his former students, the sky was blue.
The sun was shining.
Ironic. He felt it should be raining, dark and gloomy.
And though his heart broke and he cursed the Heavens to damnation for mocking him, he couldn't help but notice how his former students finally looked at peace.
And so, Kakashi smiled sadly, and wondered why the young had to die; wondered why he had to bury his own students, friends and family before he got the chance to rest himself.
When angels kiss and swallows cry
One day will come we'll learn to fly
When Angels Kiss – Noemi